Published on: January 10, 2022
Various district administrations in Tamilnadu have banned the conduct of Jallikattu events, ahead of Pongal festival, as part of safety measures.
- 2,000 years old Tradition
- Competitive sport and an event to honour bull owners who rear them for mating.
- Contestants try to tame a bull for a prize; if they fail, the bull owner wins the prize.
- Popular in Madurai, Tiruchirappalli, Theni, Pudukkottai and Dindigul districts of Tamil Nadu known as the Jallikattu belt
- Celebrated in the second week of January, during the Tamil harvest festival, Pongal.
- Kangayam, Pulikulam, Umbalachery, Bargur and Malai Maadu are among the popular native cattle breeds used for Jallikattu.
Importance to Tamil Culture:
- Considered a traditional way for the peasant community to preserve their pure-breed native bulls.
- At a time when cattle breeding is often an artificial process, conservationists and peasants argue that Jallikattu is a way to protect these male animals which are otherwise used only for meat if not for ploughing.
Politics and Jallikattu
- In 2011, the Centre added bulls to the list of animals whose training and exhibition is prohibited.
- In 2014, the Supreme Court banned the bull-taming sport, ruling on a petition that cited the 2011 notification.
Current Legal Position:
- Legalised by state government.
- Challenged in court
- In 2018, the Supreme Court referred the Jallikattu case to a Constitution Bench, where it is pending now.
- Article 29 (1) mandates that “any section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof having a distinct language, script or culture of its own shall have the right to conserve the same”